Monday, June 2, 2008
Bare, ruined choirs
I am an Anglophile. Not that I love British accents, Simon Cowell's style, and horrendous PBS reproductions of Jane Austen films (although each tweaks my fancy in its own little way). But I loved (and love) the early history, as told by Winston Churchill--the ruins of Stonehenge, the ballads of the White Horse and Arthur, Chaucer's bawdy bands traipsing noisily but sincerely toward Canterbury, Augustine. And, oh!, the poetry and prose of the twentieth-century Anglo-Catholics: Eliot, Waugh, Chesterton, Lewis, MacDonald, Tolkien... And beyond the literary and philosophic life, there is simply the physical attraction of the oldishness of the hills, valleys, lakes, and towns of England, Wales, and Scotland. I suppose I love Catholic England.
So, most welcome to my heart is this article from National Catholic Register on a group of Catholics and Anglicans doing penance for the horror of the Reformation/Rebellion in England. When I visited the "bare, ruined choirs" of the great cathedrals and monasteries of that country, I remember wishing someone could spend until the end of time praying there and regretting our brothers' violences against Christ, his mother, and his faithful. It seems others share my wish.